We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program

– Milton Friedman

14 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • How many times must we the people learn this? My economics teacher in high school said this. My father had been saying it for years before that. I tell my child. Will we ever learn?

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Does that mean the Manhattan Project still hasn’t stopped? Incredible!!!

  • Does that mean the Manhattan Project still hasn’t stopped? Incredible!!!

    Yes I believe the United States does indeed still make nuclear weapons.

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    There was a US excise tax on telephone usage which was ended two/three years ago; it had been created in 1898 to finance the Spanish-American War.


  • JohnB

    I used to think things got bad in my lifetime. That things were bad, got better, and then got worse. (Perhaps it was an illusion created by the end of WW2).

    Then I realised they had been going downhill, towards ever greater control, for longer than that. Since income tax was sneaked through, contrary to legal process, in 1913 for example. Which was before I was born.

    And then I realised things were going bad when Bastiat was was addressing the issues. Which was before that.

    In fact government has been squeezing freedom with temporary programmes ever since they started assuming control.

    Has there ever been a time when these programmes were rolled back?

    Perhaps Margaret Thatcher tried?

  • And ‘temporary’ sales taxes always go up, not down.

  • RAB

    “Don’t worry everybody, this Income Tax is only till we beat Boney…”

  • veryretired

    I recall that Reagan in the 80’s finally cancelled the state of emergency that had been in effect since WW2.

    God knows how many boards and commissions and whatnots are still lurking around in the budget, being funded year after year for doing little or nothing

    Come to think of it, if they all did nothing, it might actually be worth it. At least they could soak up a bunch of bureaucrats and lawyers and keep them from bothering decent people.

  • Alisa

    Indeed, VR. I always say that I’d be happy to see my tax money used for paying politicians and bureaucrats to do nothing.

  • Hmm

    Veryretired & Alisa, It would be worth creating a Govt. Dept. that is solely responsible for stopping bureaucrats from doing anything – especially with regard to making new laws!

  • Alisa

    Indeed, Hmm. Also, many people think that politicians are paid too much for doing what they are doing. They are oblivious to the fact that that is a mere small change compared to the real costs – both the seen and the unseen.

  • Hmm

    Alisa, I always thought that government wage should be linked to the average private sector wage… Though, over the last couple of years, the more attention I’ve paid to government sector greed the more I’m inclined towards payment involving manicles, chains and whips. :p

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Some of their money is danger money, don’t forget! Our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, earns more than the US President- but he has security of tenure! As she well knows, since she ousted the previous holder, Mr. Rudd, your term as a PM ‘serving’ your country can be randomly shortened.

  • Alisa

    Hmm, you omitted ropes and lampposts…